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  1. #1
    Senior Member jraffini's Avatar
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    True weight of poly tarp

    A lot of times when I read about cheap tarp options, people say they don't want to go with a cheap WW tarp for the weight penalty. I just wanted to put it out there that I picked up a poly tarp from ****'s a couple of years ago. It's an 8x10. It tips the scale at 22 oz. To me, that's not so bad considering that they're readily available in stock for less than $10. That's actually lighter that most of the budget PU coated nylon tarps that I've seen. To top it off, it's also a dark brown color, not blue like what most people have from WW. I know it's not perfect, but since most people seem to stray away from WW tarps and how heavy they are, I wanted to put it out there for everybody that there are options out there that aren't too bad on weight. I attached a picture of it in use. It's not the prettiest, but it kept me dry. Hope it helps!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

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    around here the brown is a bit heaver gauge than the blue. It should hold up and block the sun better.

  3. #3
    Senior Member exup's Avatar
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    They deffiently work. I used a blue one for my first trip. The thing with me is, ill pay the extra for the few ounce savings, just like a hammock. I could use a $16 grtnad trunk, but I use a $175 blackbird, and feel its worth it if you can afford it.

    Also, the blue poly tarps are very weak, tear easy and are a challenge to get truly taut. Eyelets will tear and sew tie outs to them doesn't work well.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jraffini's Avatar
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    I should also add that I've since upgraded to a Wilderness Logics big daddy tarp, but I wanted to put it out there for folks that might need a budget option as a hold over/starter option. I just seem to always see high weight mentioned as a major downside of these, but I figured 22 oz wasn't too bad since you could spend 3-4 times as much on a PU coated nylon tarp that's heavier and you might upgrade before long anyway. The first brown tarp I bought was something like 3 lbs because it was actually two layers with brown on one side and silver on the other. The one from dicks is single layer. I don't see it as being significantly less durable than some other options. I've treated it pretty rough and it still looks like the day I bought it. Just wanted to put the positive side of the cheaper option out there. It's certainly not a replacement for a proper, high quality tarp available from some of the vendors here. That's just my experience. Other people's mileage may vary. I figure if you hate it, you're out like $8 and can use it for yard work.

  5. #5
    BrianWillan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thexuprising View Post
    Also, the blue poly tarps are very weak, tear easy and are a challenge to get truly taut. Eyelets will tear and sew tie outs to them doesn't work well.
    The other main knock against the poly tarps is their bulk when packed down for back packing purposes. As a result of being hard to pitch tight is that these tarps also tend to be noisy due to flapping in the breeze.

    Someone posted recently a diy Hex cat cut tarp that was made by cutting them out from a larger poly tarp. Webbing tie outs were installed and the edges were rolled and sewn. I don't have the link off had, but it should be easily found.

    Also keep in mind that your tarp is your actual shelter while hammock camping. So the question becomes would trust your safety and well being to a very low cost and low quality tarp? Only you can answer that for yourself.

    Cheers

    Brian

  6. #6
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    A GT UL for less than $20 and a "blue" 8x10 plastic tarp for $10 is a great way for a budget minded youngster to get started (or a penny pinching oldster for that matter). Hang the tarp over a full ridge line using prussics, diagonally, and you can get a taut pitch much more easily. Use the stone in loop for the guy lines and you increase the reliability by an order of magnitude compared with grommetts. If the impecunious hammocker is using, say, a surplus ALICE pack, then the increased bulk cf. silnylon is unlikely to be a problem. Personally, I have an 8x10 piece of Tyvec, which is just about bullet proof, but it does stick out like a sore thumb

  7. #7
    Senior Member timabababaluka's Avatar
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    I use a poly tarp from Harbor Freight. It's camo (which is nice), and the weight (which is significant) doesn't bother me, but as BrianWillan mentioned, the bulk is a real pain in the hindquarters. No upgrade in the foreseeable future (unless I manage to fall into some tyvec), but it is what it is--it's what I've got. I even enjoy the sound of rain pounding on the thing. So no shame in the WW blue tarp if that's all you have to work with. Heck, you're out there, and that's what matters. If you have access to better, by all means, get something better (I will, first opportunity that comes along). But till then, just think to yourself, "Could be worse... I could be in a tent."
    You're gonna need a bigger hammock

  8. #8
    Senior Member Steve D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWillan View Post
    Someone posted recently a diy Hex cat cut tarp that was made by cutting them out from a larger poly tarp. Webbing tie outs were installed and the edges were rolled and sewn. I don't have the link off had, but it should be easily found.

    Also keep in mind that your tarp is your actual shelter while hammock camping. So the question becomes would trust your safety and well being to a very low cost and low quality tarp? Only you can answer that for yourself.
    That would have been me. Yeah, it was a blue tarp that had been upgraded just a bit...cut off the edges including the grommets, reshaped it to a cat cut hex, added reinforcement patches at the corners, roll hemmed the edges and added webbing tie out tabs. Here's a link to the thread:

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=29919

    Would I trust it for camping or riding out a storm? You bet...been there, done that. There was a follow up post a couple of weeks later about riding out a particularly nasty early spring thunderstorm with some pretty high winds. Two of my stakes pulled out but the tarp itself held up well.

    http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=31162

    I'm in the process of making 5 8x10 rectangle tarps (just finished #2 a few minutes ago) with the same mods for my kids and a friend's kids (OK, and one for me too). They're 5 mil poly so the weight isn't too bad but they definitely don't pack small but at the moment thats not a huge issue.

    Will I use 'em forever...probably not, I already have my eye on a WL Big Daddy...
    Last edited by Steve D; 06-05-2011 at 00:02.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bwg's Avatar
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    I agree, Agri Supply sells these tarps in different weights and thickness. I have several I use as loaners that weigh about 24oz and are 10x12, so that is good coverage, not to mention that these tarps come in brown and in camo, and the price is about $5 to $8 depending on color/weight.

  10. #10
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWillan View Post

    Also keep in mind that your tarp is your actual shelter while hammock camping. So the question becomes would trust your safety and well being to a very low cost and low quality tarp? Only you can answer that for yourself.

    Cheers

    Brian
    I use those tarps to tie out over a load on a truck driving 70 mph. I would never do that with a silnylon tarp. I would think that they are more durable rather than less. Heavy? Sure! Bulky? You bet! Weak? Absolutely not!

    If a full ridgeline and four sheetbends are used, those cheap tarps will probably withstand more than the pricier ones. That being said, I prefer my more compact, lighter and more expensive tarps.

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